The first item that Illinois voters will see on the ballot on Tuesday is the Safe Roads Amendment. The Amendment would protect– or “lockbox”– all revenue contributed by drivers through motor fuel taxes, tollways, licenses, and vehicle registration fees and require that the money is used solely for transportation purposes.
I surveyed 110 of 578 economics and public policy academics at accredited universities and colleges in Illinois with publicly-available email addresses in August 2016. Among the many topics addressed, I presented the professors and instructors with the following question on the Safe Roads Amendment: Continue reading “More Economists and Policy Experts in Illinois Support the Safe Roads Amendment than Oppose It”
States with higher minimum wages have added more jobs over the past 12 months. That’s the conclusion of a new Economic Commentary [PDF] released by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, which evaluates recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. … Continue reading States with Higher Minimum Wages Added More Jobs Over the Past Year
Illinois now has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, tied with only Alaska. In the month prior to Governor Rauner assuming office – when Illinois had an operating budget – the state’s unemployment rate was 6.0%, compared to a national rate of … Continue reading Illinois Has the Highest Unemployment in the Nation
Across America, local units of government are adopting responsible contracting policies. Localities as diverse as Seattle, Washington and Portage, Indiana have included provisions to encourage contractors to use taxpayer dollars responsibly. The goal of the provisions is to balance the … Continue reading Responsible Bidder Ordinances Promote Quality Construction
The story of Illinois’ manufacturing is way less cut-and-dried than some think tanks want you to believe. While Illinois has added fewer manufacturing jobs than Indiana over recent years, manufacturing earnings have grown at a much faster pace in Illinois. … Continue reading The Illinois Manufacturing Story is More of a Mixed Bag Than Some Say
The average “millennial” holds 7.2 jobs by the time he or she turns 29 years old, according to a new Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report released last Friday. The report adds even more evidence that we increasingly live in … Continue reading The Days of Working in a Stable Career Are Long Gone
Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI. This post is part of the “Frankonomics” series. All states collect tax revenues in some form. Typically, the primary … Continue reading A Laffer Curve for State Income Taxes
The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) is hiring! For full details and to apply, click here: ILEPI Policy Analyst. [UPDATE: This position was filled as of May 20, 2016.] ILEPI seeks one (1) qualified candidate to employ as a full-time Policy Analyst, Budget … Continue reading ILEPI is Seeking a Policy Analyst!
As Illinois’ Voters Go to the Polls, An Important Message to Remember In American government classes, students are taught that American politics is a pluralist system. In theory, they are told, this arrangement prevents extreme outcomes because competing groups tend … Continue reading The Middle Class Needs Strong Unions
We’re sick of the dysfunction in Illinois.
As someone who was born after 1981, I am considered a “millennial.” Last summer, my generation became the largest cohort in America.
We outnumber all other generations, but still it often seems that elected officials in Springfield have little concern for our general well-being.
Millennials tend to think that the government should be more involved in making college affordable, helping the poor, and creating jobs. We care about equality – both economic and social. And a smaller share of us sees a real difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.
So let’s just take a quick look at how Illinois is faring on those policy issues – college affordability, helping the poor, job creation, and equality. Continue reading “Grow Up.”
Labor economists have explained that lower job turnover is one of the reasons why raising the minimum wage has very little impact on employment, contrary to classical economic theory. A higher minimum wage makes it easier for employers to recruit … Continue reading Prevailing Wage States Have Fewer Job Separations in Construction
Two weeks ago, I wrote about how more infrastructure investment would kickstart the Illinois economy. Transportation infrastructure investment is one government spending item that conclusively boosts employment and reduces costs over the long run. Investment in human capital– in education and skills– is another.
Unfortunately, data from the Social Science Research Council’s Measure of America (scroll down for full data) illustrate how little the State of Illinois spends on transportation infrastructure and higher education compared to the rest of the country.
Continue reading “Illinois Spends Less on Higher Education and Transportation than Almost Every Other State”